Audi is showing off how aerodynamic the electric 2019 e-tron SUV is with a drag coefficient of only 0.28. One of the reasons that the e-tron is able to slip through the wind are its new virtual exterior mirrors, which use cameras instead of the traditional side mirrors.
The new virtual exterior mirrors reduce the e-tron’s width by 5.9-inches and their new shape, not only reduces drag, but also reduces wind noise. Each mirror integrates a small camera and the images appear on OLED displays in the transition between the instrument panel and door. There are also three views to choose from: highway driving, turning and parking. The virtual exterior mirrors will be an option in the 2019 Audi e-tron, but only in countries that allow it.
Audi didn’t just stop with the new mirrors to improve the e-tron’s aerodynamics. It also gets a standard adaptive air suspension that can automatically lower the body by up to an inch at speeds above 74.6 mph to reduce drag. The underbody of the electric SUV is also fully enclosed and the front and rear area are fully paneled.
At the front the controllable cool-air inlet behind the Singleframe has two electrically operated louvers to help lower drag. When shut, the air in this area flows with virtually no swirl. As soon as the powertrain needs cooling the top louver opens first and then both louvers. Additionally when the hydraulic wheel brakes are subject to high loads, the controllable cool-air inlet opens and releases two ducts which channel the cooling air into the front wheel arches to the brakes.
On the side, air inlets at the front of the Audi e-tron incorporate additional ducts that channel the airstream so that it flows past the outside of the 19-inch wheels. Speaking of the 19-inch wheels, their design is flatter than with conventional wheels and feature low rolling resistance 255/55 size tires. Even the tire sidewalls add to the aerodynamic design – the lettering is negative instead of raised.
The 2019 Audi e-tron will debut on August 30.